As much as I love my little Figaro car, it is often more practical and far less stressful to plan days out by bus, especially when the family come to visit. If you haven’t been on board a Go North East bus in recent years, you might be surprised to discover how modern and convenient they are.
I’m a big fan of the brightly coloured fleet that operates in our region and have worked closely with Go North East for a number of years as I’m the voiceover on their advertising campaigns (yes really, ha ha)!
So, I can safely say that their buses are some of the best around with features like contactless payments, free wifi, leather seats and usb charging points to make journeys as easy and comfortable as possible.
The team at Go North East asked me to recommend some cool ideas for days out by bus and I came up with this little list. I hope it helps you plan a fun adventure with your friends and family.
Beamish – The Living Museum of the North
I have spoken about my love of Beamish many times on this blog, it’s such a fun and interesting place with plenty to see and do for all ages. You can read about a previous visit here.
Go North East and Beamish often work in partnership, in fact the bus company has contributed towards a £17m project to build a 1950’s bus depot at the open air museum! There are plenty of vintage buses to transport you around the attraction too which is a highlight of any visit.
You can also save a massive 25% off the admission price by showing your Go North East bus ticket, so it’s well worth taking the bus!
Getting There: Beamish is served by several Go North East bus services including the number 8 from Sunderland and 28 from Newcastle and Gateshead.
Shop ’till You Drop at Intu Metrocentre
It often comes as a surprise to people who aren’t local to Newcastle or Gateshead that you can’t actually travel by Tyne and Wear Metro to Intu Metrocentre (the name is a bit misleading isn’t it?) but fear not, getting to the shopping mecca is easy with Go North East buses.
I love a trip to Metrocentre, it has loads of my favourite stores like Cath Kidston, H&M, Zara and Warehouse. Plus, there are places to get your hair and nails done and enjoy lunch with few drinks, you can really make a day of it. There’s even bowling and cinema, perfect for those rainy days.
The interchange is connected to the Metrocentre so you don’t even need to venture outside to catch your bus.
Getting There: There are loads of different Go North East buses you can use to get to and from Intu Metrocentre including the number 6 ‘Toon Link’ which goes from Stanley to Newcastle, the ‘Tyne Valley Ten’ which is perfect if you live near Prudhoe. Choose the X22 if you travel from Durham or the 45 ‘Red Kite’ for Consett. The quickest and most frequent service is the X66 which goes to and from Gateshead Interchange every few minutes.
Seaside Family Fun in South Shields
There is so much to enjoy in South Shields, from the wonderful South Marine Park with its mini train and boating lake, to the unspoilt beaches and the fabulous Customs House. The town is also home to the best fish and chips in the North East, Colmans (IMHO). There’s also Ocean Beach Pleasure Park with loads of thrills and attractions to make you feel like a kid again!
Getting There: The 26 & 27 ‘Crusader’ buses are the best ways to travel to and from South Shields, their routes travel through Newcastle and Gateshead frequently.
Explore the Quaint Village of Corbridge
I love the pretty Northumberland village of Corbridge for a day out. You can potter around the quirky, independent shops, take in the stunning river views, treat yourself to a huge slice of cake in one of the local tea rooms. You can even enjoy a pint of locally brewed ale in a 14th century tower!
Getting There: Go North East offer a couple of options for travelling to Corbridge. The ‘Tyne Valley 10’ offers a comfortable journey between Newcastle and Hexham. There’s also the X84 and X85 ‘Tynedale Express’ buses which are just as modern but offer a slightly different route.
Marvel at the Sights Around the Quayside
I will never bore of NewcastleGateshead Quayside, it is definitely my happy place! I love strolling over the Gateshead Millennium just before noon then heading to the viewing box at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art to watch the bridge tilt, it’s a truly jaw dropping experience no matter how many times you’ve seen it.
I also love visiting the Sage Gateshead and the Sunday Market but the thing that draws me to the Quayside most often is By the River Brew Co with its awesome Hawker Market and Trakol restaurant, providing some of the best food and drink in Geordieland!
Getting There: Once you’re in Newcastle or Gateshead you can use the fast and frequent ‘Quaylink’ buses to visit attractions along the banks of the Tyne. Next stop announcements will help make sure you don’t miss your stop!
Good to Know…
- Go North East offer a great value family day ticket for just £10 which is valid for up to two adults and three children travelling together. It also helps you save at local attractions like Diggerland, Beamish and Life Science Centre. For the latest discounts check out www.gonortheast.co.uk/bigdaysout
- There’s a handy journey planner on the Go North East website to help you plan route
- You can buy tickets and see your bus on a map with the handy Go North East app.
- If you’ve got kids, keep them entertained with ‘Go Kids’ which offers free activities you can download from the website.
*AD – This post is a paid collaboration with Go North East but as always my write up is based on personal experience and features all my own words and pictures.
Have you ever ditched the car in favour of a day out by bus? Leave a comment below to share your experience!